On April 5, the Food and Drug Administration’s Center for Veterinary Medicine (CVM) issued an order prohibiting certain uses of the cephalosporin class of antimicrobial drugs in cattle, swine, chickens, and turkeys.

On Sept. 27, CVM released a memorandum that reminds those in the dairy industry about this order and re-states prohibited uses and exceptions to the order.

Prohibited uses include:

  • Using cephalosporin drugs at dose levels, frequencies, durations, or routes of administration different from those on the approved manufacturer’s label;
  • Using cephalosporin drugs in cattle, swine, chickens or turkeys that are not approved for use in that species (e.g., cephalosporin drugs intended for humans or companion animals); and
  • Using cephalosporin drugs for disease prevention.

If a cephalosporin drug (not including cephapirin) is observed on a dairy farm that is being used or labeled in an extralabel manner that does not comply with these prohibited uses it would be considered a violation (five-point debit) of Item 15r-Drug and Chemical Control of the Grade “A” Pasteurized Milk Ordinance (PMO).

The following exceptions to the prohibition apply:

  • Extralabel use of approved cephapirin products in food-producing animals;
  • Used to treat or control an extralabel disease indication, as long as this use adheres to a labeled dosage regimen (i.e., dose, route, frequency, and duration of administration) approved for that particular species and production class; and
  • 21 CFR Part 530 compliant, extralabel use in food-producing minor species, such as sheep, goats, etc.
  • A copy of the Federal Register document is available here.  

Read the full memorandum here.